16 days: Bahir Dar, Gondar, Simien Mountains, Axum, Lalibela and Harer by surface
Departure Day: Daily Guaranteed Departure with 2 participants minimum
The trip starts and ends in Addis Ababa. This cultural and historical adventure takes you through the rich historical, archaeological, religious and natural attractions of Ethiopia. It focuses on the historically important regions of Bahir Dar, Gondar, Askum, Mekele, Lalibela and Harer. A boat cruise over Lake Tana is arranged to visit old monasteries on the islands. With some distance drive from Bahir Dar, Blue Nile Falls will be visited. In Gondar the castle of Faselades, which is known as the Camelot of Africa, will be visited. On the way to Axum the magnificent mountain scenery of the Simien Mountains will be seen. After visiting the ancient city of Axum and its archaeological sites, you precede to Lalibela see the famous rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, often referred to as the 'Eighth wonder of the World'. Finally the trip ends by visiting the walled city of Harar.
Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa, city tour of Addis Ababa
On arrival in Addis Ababa our representatives will meet you at Bole International Airport and transfers to Ambassador Hotel. An overview of the program and itineraries will be given. The rest of the day visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where we will view the 3.6 million year old remains of “Lucy”, whose skeletal remains when discovered in 1974. You will also visit the Ethnological Museum at Addis Ababa University, Holy Trinity Cathedrals and Mount Entoto which rises up to an altitude of 3200 meters and offers the panoramic view of the metropolis. Overnight Ambassador Hotel
Day 2: Addis Ababa - Debre Markos
After breakfast drive to Debre Markos via Dejen which is the famous Teff growing region in the country. Teff is staple food of Ethiopians. After 103 kms drive, visit the 13th C monastery of Debre Libanos and the 17th C Portuguese Bridge. En route have stop over to visit the Oromo tribal village. Further down, you will enjoy the fabulous Blue Nile Gorge. Similar to the Grand Canon of USA. Overnight Debre Markos Shebel hotel.
Day 3: Debre Markos - Bahir Dar
Drive about 250kms to Bahar Dar, a town by the edge of Lake Tana, through the beautiful scenery and visiting the Amhara people and their villages. Have a lunch at Bahar Dar, the capital of the Amhara National Regional State. Afternoon, we make city tour of Bahir Dar that includes: Colorful market where someone could find the pottery, traditional hand-made woven clothes, etc. Visit Woito Basket market and Mount Bezawit where the palace of Emperor Haile Selassie is gracefully situated. This hilltop is the best viewing point for the town, the lake and the river. Overnight Tana Hotel.
Day 4: Bahir Dar
After breakfast drive to the small town of Tiss Abay to visit to the impressive Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tis Isat or 'Smoke of Fire'. The falls throws up a continuous spray of water droplets which drench onlookers up to a kilometre away. Much of the water is diverted to for Hidro electric Generation but it is worth visiting for the walk around and see the country side. The area around the river is extremely fertile and the Amhara people who live here farm wheat, sorghum and Teff (from which injera, the national bread, is made. After the Falls, return to Bahir Dar for lunch the rest of the afternoon we take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit ancient monasteries. We will visit two of the most accessible and representative of the monasteries, still serving their original function, Ura Kidane Mehret, and Azwa Maryam. Overnight same Hotel
Day 5: Drive Gondar Tour of Gondar
We experience typically in an Ethiopian African landscape as we drive from Bahir Dar to Gondar- 180 kms over wide grazing land, hilly mountains with numerous farmlands. The rest of the day visit attractions in Gondar. The attractions that you visit in Gondar includes: Castles of Gondar- are included in the World Heritage List, the royal Fasiledes Bath and the Church of Debre Berhan Selassie with its unique murals. Overnight Goha Hotel
Day 6: Drive Simien Mountains
After breakfast departure for Debark town (100 Kms from Gondar), where the head quarter of Semien Mountains National Park is found. Here we pay the entrance fees and a scout and a local guide will accompany us. Then we continue driving to the gravel road to Buyit Ras, the first campsite of the National Park. On this drive you will gain your first impression of the scale and beauty of this highland region, the extraordinary scenery, enjoying the endemic Gelada Baboons and the bone breaker giant bird Lammergeyer roaring around. Overnight In Debark town at Imitegogo Hotel
Day 7: Drive Axum
On this day, you drive long (280kms) but enjoying very beautiful and spectacular landscape along the Semien Mountains and Tekeze Gorge. The road descends from 3100 meters through hairpin bends down the mountain side to 1400 meters in just 40kms! The drive down and back up to Adi Arkay showcases not only the immensely beautiful Simien Mountain massifs but also the people who eke out an existence in this unforgiving countryside. The drive continues through the Tekeze valley, crossing the Tekeze River, and onto Axum in the far north. Overnight Remhay Hotel
Day 8: Visit of historical and archaeological sites in Axum
The ancient city of Axum is found close to Ethiopia's northern border. It marks the location of the heart of ancient Ethiopia, when the Kingdom of Axum was the most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia. The archaeological and historical attractions in Axum include: the archaeological museum, monolithic steles or obelisks, the tombs of King Kaleb and King Gebre Meskal, and the legendary Bath of the Queen of Sheba, and the ruins of ancient palace of Queen Sheba. You also visit the new and the old Cathedral of St Mary of Zion and the sanctuary that houses the original Arc of the covenant. The 16th Century Cathedral of St Mary of Zion was probably built on an earlier 4th century church, and is the holiest church in Ethiopia. In its sanctuary is said to rest the original Ark of the Covenant. Overnight Remhay Hotel
Day 9: Drive from Axum to Mekele
After breakfast drive through the historical town of Adwa, this is the major African battlefield. Drive to the very small town of Yeha to visit the 5th century B.C imposing ruins of Yeha’s temple. It was a large pre-Christian temple consisting of a single oblong chamber. The temple is believed to be the oldest standing building in the country. You will also visit the 6th century A.D church of Aba Afse –the church, sharing the same compound with the temple, is rectangular in shape. Continue driving to Mekele-the capital of Tegray region en route visit Rock church of Wekro Cherkos. Overnight Mekele Axum Hotel.
Day 10: Mekele - Lalibela
On this day, you will have the longest drive through the rough nature of road but nice to experience along with the magnificent scenery (gigantic, ups and downs landscape). You will have a chance to visit Lake Ashenge and good for birding. Proceed to Lalibela for dinner and overnight at Jerusalem Hotel
Day 11: Lalibela
Full day sightseeing tour of Lalibela: Lalibela, famous for its rock hewn churches dating back 800 years. There are no less than 1000 churches in the Lasta Region of Lalibela, some hidden in enormous caves, but it's exceptional to find 11 churches of such master craftsmanship in one locale. These brilliant feats of engineering and architecture are often referred to as the "Eighth wonder of the world". The afternoon is also spent exploring the atmospheric subterranean complex of passages and the 11 remarkable rock-hewn churches. Overnight Jerusalem Hotel.
Day 12: Lalibela – Kombolcha
After breakfast drive through the highland area of Delb where you can see the dramatic Ethiopian Landscape. Stop over at Hayk to visit the 13th C monastery of Hike Istifanos on the island of Lake Hike. Proceed to Kombolcha for dinner and overnight at Tekle Hotel.
Day 13 Kombolcha – Awash
Drive to Awash and visit the magnificent Awash water falls. Overnight Genet Hotel
Day 14: Drive – Harar
After breakfast drive from Awash Sebat Killo to Harar. You will be driving through the Hararghe Mountains and we will see plenty of coffee and ‘chat’ fields. The region is well known in growing one of the best qualities of coffee in the country. Finally we will arrive in Harar early in the afternoon. Overnight Belayneh hotel
Day 15: In Harar
The same day you visit the colorful Muslim and Christian markets (known for basketry), the museum, and the traditional Hararie houses situated within the famous walled city. In the evening visit the hyena man while he feeds the hungry hyenas. Overnight Belayneh hotel
Day 16: Drive to Addis Ababa Evening departure
After breakfast we drive to Addis Ababa. Evening we will have a fare well dinner in one of the Ethiopian restaurants for cultural dinner and dances from the different ethnic groups. Then after transfer to the airport for flight back home.
• Meet and greet at airport
• All accommodation based on twin room occupancy
• Meals in Addis, on bed & breakfast basis
• Meals out of Addis, on half board, Breakfast and dinner basis including local non-alcoholic beverage
• All entrance fees
• All transfers and visits in Addis Ababa using mini-bus according to the itinerary.
• All Ground transportation to the north with a very good condition of 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser including insurance, fuel and all costs of the English speaking driver.
• Local Guide and scout fees in each regions
• Boat trip on Lake Tana to visit two monasteries and churches on the islands of Lake Tana
• A Mule ride out of Lalibela to visit Asheten Monastery.
• Farewell dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food & Music; transfer & guide
• A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at a convenient time in the program
• Government sales tax
Price doesn’t include
• International flights
• Lunch through out the trip and Dinner in Addis
• Alcoholic drinks & spirits
• Lunch and
• Video filming and photography fees
• Incidental meals, snacks and drinks
• Tips and items of personal nature
Discount Group Cost
From 4 - 5 Participants = US $ 2780 per person
From 6 - 7 Participants = US $ 2560 per person
Single room supplement = US $350.